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Lamb to the Slaughter Thesis + 1

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    Lamb to the Slaughter
    In the short story “Lamb to the Slaughter”, author Roald Dahl conveys his feelings that the troubles in life can be solved by analyzing the situation before acting, that you should appreciate what you have, and that ultimately that everyone is a lamb, all with the power to break free of their control.

    To reinforce his lesson on planning out a situation, Roald Dahl uses examples of the outcomes of situations with and without rational thinking; he first begins with an example of the negative effects of rash decisions. “…Mary Maloney simply walked up behind him and without any pause…brought it down as hard as she could.” In the heat of the moment, Mary was blinded from proper judgment by her onslaught of emotions towards her husband. If Mary had stopped and thought rationally about her predicament, she most likely would not have to deal with the fact that she murdered her husband. On the other hand, Roald Dahl gives his main character a chance to redeem her previous poor decision making. “What were the laws about murderers with unborn children? Did the kill them both-mother and child?”

    Once Mary came to the conclusion that her baby’s life was on the line, she was not going to take a chance. She calculated her actions, and after thinking about the best solution, concocted a solution to her crisis. She cleverly creates an alibi for herself, demonstrating the positive outcomes of rational thinking. Also, Mary once again demonstrates the advantages of processing a situation before acting when she decides to rid herself of the murder weapon. “Please eat it…It’d be a favor to me if you’d eat it up. Then you can go on with your work again afterwards.” Knowing that the officers are searching for the weapon and she still has it, Mary develops an extraordinary plan to rid herself of the evidence. Her well thought out plan emphasize the positive outcomes of rational thinking by not only riding her of the lamb leg, but by also reinforcing the officers’ belief that she is innocent. Outline:

    Thesis- In the short story “Lamb to the Slaughter”, author Roald Dahl conveys his feelings that the troubles in life can be solved by analyzing the situation before acting, that you should appreciate what you have, and that ultimately that everyone is a lamb, all with the power to break free of their control. TS1- Roald Dahl provides positive and negative example of rational thinking. CD1- “…walked up behind him…as hard as she could”.

    CM1- Mary was blinded by her emotions.

    CM2- If she had planned better, the situation may have gone a lot better. CD2-“What were the laws about murderers with unborn children? Did the kill them both-mother and child?” CM1- Was not going to take a chance now that her unborn baby is on the line. CM2- Thinking allows her to come up with an alibi.

    CD3- “Please eat it…It’d be a favor to me if you’d eat it up. Then you can go on with your work again afterwards.” CM1- Mary realizes that she needs to dispose of the murder weapon. CM2- Rational thinking not only rids the evidence, but also solidifies the officers’ assumption that she is innocent. TS2- Roald Dahl also provides literary evidence to support that you should value the things you have. CD1- “Of course I’ll give you money and see you’re looked after. But there needn’t really be any fuss.” CM1- The thought of divorce had no weight on Mr. Maloney.

    CM2- His lack of value towards his wife’s love led to his death. CD2- “And in the other room, Mary Maloney began to giggle.” CM1- She giggled because she never knew she had the strength to do something like this on her own. CM2- The newfound feeling of empowerment had not been present until she valued her own abilities. TS3- Everyone is a lamb, all with the ability to break free of control. CD1- “…he remained standing there for at least four or five seconds, gently swaying. Then he crashed to the carpet.” CM1- Patrick Maloney was simply a lamb, clueless to the fact that he was to be slaughtered. CM2- He had the power to try and work things out, but failed, resulting in his untimely death. CD2- “All right, she told herself. So I’ve killed him.” CM1- She was the lamb to be slaughtered by her controller, Mr. Maloney. CM2- She rose above and seized control from her metaphorical butcher. Conclusion: Roald Dahl uses his characters to portray his personal views that troubles in life can be solved by rationalizing the situation before making a decision, that you should appreciate what you have, and that ultimately that everyone is a lamb, all with the power to break free of their control.

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